Canada drops quarter-fi​nal


Michel Belanger

July 12, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – In its first quarter-final appearance at the Summer Universiade since 2001, the Canadian women’s volleyball team dropped a straight-set decision (25-17, 25-16, 26-24) against Thailand, Friday afternoon.

Canada now hopes to finish the biennial tournament in fifth place. The red and white gets back on the court Saturday at 3 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET) against either host Russia or Taiwan. Regardless of the outcome the rest of the way, it will be the country’s best result in women’s volleyball at the FISU Games since an eighth-place finish in 2001 in Beijing.

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“Despite the loss, we’re still motivated and we want to go as far as possible in the tournament. Reaching the quarters was already a good step for the team. Now, we want to finish as high as we can,” said Canadian head coach Arnd Ludwig. “We blocked well today against a team that utilizes many different combinations. We committed a few errors in the first set and couldn’t quite get back into the match before the third.”

Thailand jumped out to a quick 8-5 lead in the opening set but Canada responded with four straight points to get in front, thanks in part to a huge block and a kill by Lucy Charuk of Tsawwassen, B.C. (University of Houston). The Canadians held on to the advantage until 16-15 but saw their rivals go on an 8-0 run after the break to take the first stanza.

The middle frame was all Thailand as the powerful Asian squad built a comfortable 13-4 lead and never looked back. Canada did pull to within five but never got closer, en route to a 25-16 loss.

Canada’s best moments came in the third set. Kyla Richey of Roberts Creek, B.C. (UBC) was a force with five kills as her side built was seemed to be a commanding advantage at 18-12. However, their opponents, who have yet to drop a set in the tourney, never panicked and mounted a spectacular comeback to tie the affair at 22.

Led by outside hitter Ounma Sittirak, who had five kills in the second half of the decisive frame, the winners closed the deal on their second match point, at 26-24.

In the loss, Shanice Marcelle of Victoria (UBC) racked up seven kills, two blocks and 11 digs. Charuk finished with four blocks and two kills, while middle Alicia Perrin of Creston, B.C. (Trinity Western) had five kills and three blocks.

BOXSCORE: Canada vs Thailand